Recently my heart has been heavy with the realization that women everywhere are hurting, struggling with anxiety, financial worries, broken relationships, health issues, fear about any number of things, parenting concerns, marriage distress . . . . and many of us are just worn out from all of the brokenness we see all around us. Every one of us has a broken heart in one way or another.
In all of my thinking and praying, I feel that God has given me a special message just for YOU! And that is this . . . . it is time for us to look up, to reach out, and to keep moving toward our goals. Have you felt like giving up? Are you discouraged? Do YOU have a broken heart? Well, so do I, so let’s get busy and begin a journey of healing!
Here are just a few quick things that I have discovered that have helped me navigate the Valley of Brokenness that we all must travel through at some point in our journey. How can you implement some of these ideas in your life?
1. Healing a broken heart takes honesty. When we keep secrets, or hide our pain, it only gets worse. Find a safe place, a safe person, a trusted friend with whom you can tell your true story. Sometimes we feel that if we reveal the TRUE truth about our lives, that others will be critical, and condemn us for our failures. Now that’s pretty sad, don’t you think? Because it is clear in God’s Word that if we are under grace and not the law of bondage, that “Therefore, there is no no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1)
Our family likes to do jigsaw puzzles. But when we buy a new puzzle, and the girls see that beautiful picture on the outside of the box, they always seem rather surprised that when we open the box and dump the contents out on the table, it is just a jumbled up MESS! So should we just put it back in the box, hide it in the cupboard, and hope that someday in the dark corner of that cupboard that it will somehow, mysteriously, just turn into that beautiful picture that is on the outside? Of course not! That is silly. But that is how we live our lives sometimes. We keep that “jumbled up mess” hidden away in a dark corner of our lives, hoping that someday it will all get sorted out. We need to dump the junk! Right out in the open (where we are safe, of course) and begin to sort through all those jumbled up, tangled up, and twisted pieces. Only then can God help us put it together in such a way that it does, indeed, become just as beautiful as what we portray on the outside.
2. Healing a broken heart takes action. Here’s where it gets a bit tricky . . . . you see, usually when we are in the grip of brokenness, we get paralyzed. I know I do! It is easy to give up, go take a nap, convince yourself that you really are a loser, or not worthy, or that you do not deserve to be happy ever again. You begin to believe that there is nothing left for you to do to be able to move beyond this “stuck” place in life. When you are there, THAT is the time to get up and get moving!
It is very difficult, so don’t think that just by standing up you will conquer that negative voice you are hearing in your head. You have to stand up and MOVE! What does that mean? Again God’s Word encourages us to to be active in our spiritual journey: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13) Of course, this refers to the goal of an eternity in the presence of our Heavenly Father, but I think it is also the perfect pattern for us to follow for reaching earthly goals.
Put the negative stuff behind you, and “strain” forward to reach your goals. Fill your heart and mind with the truth of God’s Word, invest your time in building relationships with positive people who will uphold you in prayer and support, and make a commitment that you WILL NOT let the brokenness paralyze you.
3. Healing a broken heart takes time. Finally, you need to be patient with yourself. Let me tell you a story about one of my own times of brokenness. It took years for me to give up completely, and after years of verbal and emotional abuse in my marriage, being reminded daily that I was a failure as a mother, as a wife, and as a woman, I truly believed that I was completely unworthy of any level of kindness or respect. When I finally came to the place of recognizing that it was only a matter of time before this situation was going to completely destroy me, I was paralyzed.
It was only through months and months, even years, of reading and searching for the truth, sharing my broken heart with a few very close friends, and seeking God to release me from the situation, that I was able to move beyond my paralysis. It took time, it took action, and it took honesty. Be patient with yourself . . . . but DON’T give up, DON’T go take a nap, DON’T believe the lies that you cannot get beyond this “stuck” place in your life. DON’T let anyone convince you that you can’t do this!
Listen . . . . if I was going to die of a broken heart, that would have happened a LONG time ago. You aren’t dead yet, so GET UP! Take the first step by connecting with someone you trust and begin the work of healing your brokenness. You CAN do this!